The Genocide Portal

Genocide is the intentional action to destroy a people—usually defined as an ethnic, national, racial, or religious group—in whole or in part. A term coined by Raphael Lemkin in his 1944 book Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, the hybrid word geno-cide is a combination of the Greek word γένος (genos, "race, people") and the Latin suffix -caedo ("act of killing").

The United Nations Genocide Convention, which was established in 1948, defines genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group, as such" including the killing of its members, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately imposing living conditions that seek to "bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part", preventing births, or forcibly transferring children out of the group to another group. Victims have to be deliberately, not randomly, targeted because of their real or perceived membership of one of the four groups outlined in the above definition.

The Political Instability Task Force estimated that, between 1956 and 2016, a total of 43 genocides took place, causing the death of about 50 million people. The UNHCR estimated that a further 50 million had been displaced by such episodes of violence up to 2008.

The word genocide has also come to signify a value judgment as it is widely considered the epitome of human evil. (Full article...)

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The Circassian genocide (Adyghe: Адыгэ лъэпкъгъэкӏод, romanized: Adıgə tləpqğək'od; Kabardian: Адыгэ лъэпкъгъэкIуэд, romanized: Adıgə tləpqğək'wəd; Russian: Черкесское мухаджирство, lit.'Migration of the Circassians') was the Russian Empire's systematic mass murder, ethnic cleansing, forced migration, and expulsion of 800,000–1,500,000 Muslim Circassians (at least 75% of the total population) from their homeland Circassia, which roughly encompassed the major part of the North Caucasus alongside the Black Sea. This occurred in the aftermath of the Russo-Circassian War in the second half of the 19th century. It has been recorded that during the events, the Russian and Cossack forces used various brutal methods to entertain themselves, such as tearing the bellies of pregnant women and removing the baby inside, then feeding the babies to dogs. Russian generals such as Grigory Zass described the Circassians as "subhuman filth", and justified their rape, killing and use in scientific experiments. The displaced people were settled primarily to the Ottoman Empire.

A large portion of indigenous peoples of the region were ethnically cleansed from their homeland at the end of the Russo-Circassian War by Russia. The peoples planned for removal were mainly the Circassians (or Adyghe), Ubykhs, and Abaza, but Abkhaz, Arshtins, Chechens and Ossetians were also heavily affected. Other Muslim peoples of the Caucasus were also affected to a degree such as Avars and Ingush. (Full article...) (Full article...)

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Vahakn Norair Dadrian (Armenian: Վահագն Տատրեան; 26 May 1926 – 2 August 2019) was an Armenian-American sociologist and historian, born in Turkey, professor of sociology, historian, and an expert on the Armenian genocide. He was one of the early scholars of the academic study of genocide and recognized as one of the key thinkers on the Holocaust and genocide. However, Dadrian's approach to history has been criticized and some of the ideas he advanced are not followed by scholars in the twenty-first century. (Full article...) (Full article...)


"If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged." Noam Chomsky, lecture at St. Michael's College, 1990

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International prosecution of genocide (ad hoc tribunals)

It is commonly accepted that, at least since World War II, genocide has been illegal under customary international law as a peremptory norm, as well as under conventional international law. Acts of genocide are generally difficult to establish, for prosecution, since intent, demonstrating a chain of accountability, has to be established. International criminal courts and tribunals function primarily because the states involved are incapable or unwilling to prosecute crimes of this magnitude themselves.

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International prosecution of genocide (International Criminal Court)

To date all international prosecutions for genocide have been brought in specially convened international tribunals. Since 2002, the International Criminal Court can exercise its jurisdiction if national courts are unwilling or unable to investigate or prosecute genocide, thus being a "court of last resort," leaving the primary responsibility to exercise jurisdiction over alleged criminals to individual states. Due to the United States concerns over the ICC, the United States prefers to continue to use specially convened international tribunals for such investigations and potential prosecutions.[1]

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